Joseph M. Devine

Joseph McMurray Devine (March 15, 1861 – August 31, 1938)[1] was an American politician who was the Republican Governor of North Dakota from 1898 to 1899. He served as governor for less than one year as he finished the term after Governor Frank A. Briggs died in office.


Joseph M. Devine was born in Wheeling, West Virginia, and educated in the public schools. He received a B.A. degree from the University of West Virginia in 1881.[2] He married Ida Frances Holloway in 1891 and they had one daughter. He was again married, in 1900, to Mary Bernadine Hascom; and had a son, Douglas, and two daughters, Helen and Bernadine. He moved to LaMoure County, Dakota Territory in 1884 and was superintendent of schools for ten years. In 1892 he lost an election for state superintendent of public education to Laura J. Eisenhuth, the first woman elected to state office in the United States.[3]


He first entered politics as Lieutenant Governor of North Dakota in 1897. When Governor Frank A. Briggs died on August 9, 1898, Devine, assumed the duties of governorship for the remainder of the term. He won reelection as Lieutenant Governor from 1899 through 1901[4] He continued to be active in educational issues. The last position he held was as State Immigration Commissioner from 1923 to 1933.[4]


Devine died of heart failure on August 31, 1938, and is interred in Mandan Union Cemetery in Mandan, North Dakota.[2]


  1. "Joseph M. Devine". Find a Grave. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
  2. 1 2 "Joseph M. Devine". Soylent Communications. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
  3. "History: ND elected first woman to be administrator of a state office". The Bismarck Tribune. April 25, 2010. Retrieved September 21, 2015.
  4. 1 2 "Joseph M. Devine". National Governors Association. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
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Political offices
Preceded by
John H. Worst
Lieutenant Governor of North Dakota
Succeeded by
David Bartlett
Preceded by
Frank A. Briggs
Governor of North Dakota
Succeeded by
Frederick B. Fancher
Preceded by
John G. Halland
North Dakota Superintendent of Public Instruction
Succeeded by
Walter L. Stockwell
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